Welcome to the Week em Breve! This week in Portugal: Animal Absconders, Environmental Failures, Environmental Victories, Strike!, Prison Reform, Phone Fakers, and much more!
The Animals Are Absconding
To the animal lovers of the world, you may rejoice! Last week, the Portuguese government agreed to end the practice of using wild animals in circuses. While the bill still has to be approved this December, it should mean that shows operating in the country will not be allowed to use lions, monkeys, elephants, or other non-domestic animals, regardless of whether they were born in captivity or not.
Better, But Not Good Enough.
On the flip side, a recent WWF report puts Portugal in 66th place in the world rankings for carbon footprints. This is a step up from studies in previous years, but still leaves something to be desired and was put down to the economic slump. The report says that in order to continue this trend and improve the environmental impact of the country, those living here need to change their lifestyle. At the current rate, Portugal would still need 2.1 planets to survive. In case you didn’t know, we only have one.
It’s Oil Over
In better environmental news, after a long battle, Portuguese oil and gas giant Galp is finally abandoning its plans for exploratory drilling off the coast of Aljezur. This comes just before their extended deadline of January 2019 and is due to the legal troubles that have plagued the operation.
And You Thought 300 Was a Good Strike
While we reported a while back that a strike would be occurring during this year’s Web Summit, Metro de Lisboa has announced that it will affect nearly 500,000 people. Both regular commuters and tech pilgrims alike will be caught out on the 6th November, which marks the first full day of the summit. May we suggest Gira bike-sharing?
Lojas Chinesas Network of Financial Crime
We all have that one “loja chinesa” that we frequent, the one with the packs of 11 clothes pegs that you just can’t get anywhere else. Well, many of them are currently under attack from “Operation Albare,” which is trying to tackle the €40 million these stores made that went undeclared. There is apparently a network of stores covering the length of the country that are involved in tax evasion and money laundering. Eight Chinese businessmen have been arrested in connection to the allegations this week.
From Prison to Penthouse
Lisbon’s prison that overlooks Parque Eduardo VII will close, according to the 2019 state budget. There is a debate, however, over how the land will be used once it does. While the building itself can’t be demolished, the surrounding land, which currently belongs to the state, is worth a pretty penny to developers. The details are as of yet unclear, but there is a very real possibility of a couple of hotels and apartment blocks being built there.
Latest Real Estate Report
It wouldn’t be a worthy news week without something related to real estate. Statistics Portugal’s latest report shows that the rising house prices in Portugal aren’t slowing at all, with the median price per square meter increasing 8% compared with last year. The biggest jump was in Porto, with an increase of 25%, but Lisbon remains in its infamous top spot with house prices nearly three times the national average.
The Phone Fakers
The internet is flooded with memes of social anxiety, and Portugal is representing. A recent study found that the vast majority of Portuguese respondents use their mobile phones to pretend to be busy to avoid social situations. The report by Kaspersky Lab found that a massive 72% admitted to using this tactic, along with 44% of respondents saying they use their phone as a distraction for themselves. Good work, Portugal.
Think we missed an important story? Let us know in the comments!